Supplements vs statins - which is more effective?

Posted by elio @elio, May 12, 2016

Hello. My name is Eliott. Over the last 5 years, I’ve been suffering from hypercholesterolemia.
As I am turning 25, my cholesterol levels seem to be relentlessly increasing. Despite the fact that I do not practice any sport, and my job requires me to sit all day long, I’ve never been overweight. To the contrary, I have always managed to maintain a healthy but not ideal or athletic body weight.
All the doctors I’ve met insisted on putting me on prescription statin drugs, which I refused because of their predictable severe side effects in the long run on bones, muscles, and joints, etc… Even though my good HDL cholesterol worth 42 points, I am kind of concerned that my LDL cholesterol has reached 292 mg/dl, according the last blood check-up which I did on mid-April 2016. Today, I am being extra careful watching my diet. Trying hard to reduce my fat intake by avoiding fried foods, sweets, bakery and everything that I’ve read it might badly affect my cholesterol. I drink a lot of green tea, I eat oat with some dried fruits for breakfast. I quit dairy products and substituted chicken for red meat, etc… In brief, I now feel forced to consume heart-healthy foods which have been shown to help lower bad blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels. In addition, it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been taking 1200 mg of red yeast rice daily with a dose of 100 mg of coQ10 (later, I was shocked to discover that red yeast rice is still controversial and is not but an alternative statin. How accurate is this?). I also make sure to sparingly include in my diet supplements and whole foods such as spirulina, chlorella, rice protein, vitamins D3 and B12, grape seed extract (sometimes red wine, resveratrol or pomegranate), royal jelly, etc…
As a next step, I am seriously planning to switch to either a combination of Sytrinol, Flush-Free
niacin and apple pectin OR a garlic supplement (1800-2000 mg), cayenne (2000 mg) in addition to a certain dose of Guar Gum and/or Psyllium. But before proceeding any further, I just want to know whether or not I am doing the right thing. If not, should I give up all the supplements and switch to an individual dose of a statin? Could you please advise me on which cure will be more effective in my case? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

Thanks @colleenyoung for your prompt answer. I really appreciate that you tagged that post with relevant people! Actually, I am about to join a gym. I hope it will help me get healthy and improve my reading.

I am allergic to cholesterol medication but I use natural remedy from Naturopathic doctor. Or ask vitamin shop   for cholesterol lowering pills.

@gulzar

I am allergic to cholesterol medication but I use natural remedy from Naturopathic doctor. Or ask vitamin shop   for cholesterol lowering pills.

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@gulzar, Wow, sorry to hear you are allergic to statins. Does this mean you don’t tolerate them because of typical side effects? I would be interested in hearing about what your Naturopathic doctor would recommend? I mentioned this in an earlier post that I was having problems with numbness in my leg & feet (mostly the rt. side) and after going through several kinds of testing to see what may be causing this problem, nothing has turned up. I decided to ask both my regular Dr. and my Cardiologist about whether the 80 mg. of atorvastin could be causing this, both said to cut the dose in half and see if that makes a difference. It has been a month since I’ve done this and I am experiencing some relief. The Cardiologist has suggested stopping altogether for 2 weeks and see if the numbness goes away and my regular Dr. has suggested not to do this and he has changed me to 40 mg.of simvastatin. I’m trying to decide what to do. I have looked into other options earlier on such as Niacin and a few other things, but my Cardiologist really is not a fan of anything else (in his mind he thinks all supplements just give us expensive pee). Anyway, I would be interested in hearing what you are finding out. Have a great weekend! @thankful

@gulzar

I am allergic to cholesterol medication but I use natural remedy from Naturopathic doctor. Or ask vitamin shop   for cholesterol lowering pills.

Jump to this post

I have been on natural remedies for over 12 years it works better than
prescription mine prescribed by Dr. Arona in Tempe Arizona. But you can go
to any vitamins shops and ask for yeast red rice for cholesterol. You
doctor never advise you because it is not his specialty in natural
medicine. And it is against law.

@colleenyoung

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

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@elio, Eliott, I have never heard of many of the supplements you are listing and I hope you are having a Dr or someone who is really in the know be recommending these to you? Although I am a firm believer in different kinds of Natural supplements, the wrong combination of them can be as deadly as any pharma type drug interactions. It sounds like you are getting a hold of your diet and as a 25 year old I would highly encourage you to start some kind of exercise program. It is always tough to start, but once you pencil the time into your schedule and stick to it, you will begin to look forward to it (maybe not always). Again, I’m not sure why you came up with the strong reasons against statins, but I would say that the vast majority in the medical community is clear that they really make a difference and I would say for me that all my numbers have vastly improved since I began taking them.

One other thing I will mention and this is something that I would like to hear some feedback on from the others in our Connect Group is about if anyone uses C-pap?
I had a sleep study done in a hospital setting over 8 yrs. ago and was totally surprised in what I found out.
I have used C-pap ever since and it has made a huge difference in my health, especially in how I feel throughout the day. I always thought that C-pap was only for heavy people that snored a lot, but I am not anywhere near heavy (180 lbs. & 5’10”) and according to my wife I occasionally was snoring (but she was able to sleep through it). When one has apnea as a result of snoring this triggers our system to send a message that “Hey dude, you stopped breathing 20 seconds ago, better start soon”. I know this sounds like a Woody Allen movie, but believe me when I say this is worth considering. Essentially the message sent is a shot of Adrenalin into our system that creates Cortisol which is a major cause of plaque and other bad stuff that over time will really effect our health.
They now have very reliable home sleep tests that can be done by yourself and is far easier than the hospital stay and a whole lot less expensive. I highly recommend that you consider this for yourselves!
Enjoy your weekend!

@gulzar

I am allergic to cholesterol medication but I use natural remedy from Naturopathic doctor. Or ask vitamin shop   for cholesterol lowering pills.

Jump to this post

Thankful, its JoeM, the first time I took statins(zocor) 20+ years ago, I
experienced pain in my joints, it got so bad I was prescribed celebrex. The
result was I stopped taking both of them. Yes, the pain went away. I find
that “doctor’s” will treat you with whats out there in the market and that
some of them are not too sold out on natural remedies or vitamins. I have
read in some articles that taking “niacin B3” is a cholesterol buster, but
again follow your doctors orders.

@colleenyoung

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

Jump to this post

I did exercise for many years and did not help me to reduce my cholesterol
at all. Your liver makes most of the cholestrol only 10% from food. You
need to visit Naturopathic doctor most of them can prescribe medication too
they are doctors. That what I did 12 years ago and I purchase supplement
from them and it does helps and much better the prescriptions. The
prescription Statin they contain yest red rice too plus some chemicals that
hurts your muscles and joins. Also like to let you know I was on
Pantoprazole (PPI) for 18 years was helping at same time was helping my
body to make cancer tumors and I am now in big trouble living with
Gastrinoma cancer. All prescription got very bad side effect but natural
stuff very few of them. I could not stop to take PPI pills because when you
start it can not stop taking it.All prescriptions works agains your immune
system that is why your body fight you.
That is my 2cents.

Liked by timschneider

Niacin…actually niacinamide – forms of Vitamin B3— but my cholesterol was too high and they recommended Crestor

Liked by wandikarnadi

I think you should see the Naturopathic doctor. Yeast red rise was good for me and statin contains it plus more harmful stuff.

Liked by wandikarnadi

I quit taking statins about 5 months ago. My HDL and LDL were marginal at best, but statin side effects got the best of me. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to my breakfast cereal and to a 10-cup pot of coffee that I share with my wife. HDL and LDL are now “in the black,” as my accountant says. Give credit also to what @elio has avoided — fried foods, sweets, bakery goods (all of which contain trans-fats), dairy products that are not nonfat, and red meat, substituting chicken (small helpings) and fish. Add a lot of walking or related exercise and you have my recipe for losing weight and cutting cholesterol levels.

@predictable

I quit taking statins about 5 months ago. My HDL and LDL were marginal at best, but statin side effects got the best of me. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to my breakfast cereal and to a 10-cup pot of coffee that I share with my wife. HDL and LDL are now “in the black,” as my accountant says. Give credit also to what @elio has avoided — fried foods, sweets, bakery goods (all of which contain trans-fats), dairy products that are not nonfat, and red meat, substituting chicken (small helpings) and fish. Add a lot of walking or related exercise and you have my recipe for losing weight and cutting cholesterol levels.

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My triglycerides were over 400, cholesterol 250+ and then I quit taking all
statins. Everything dropped to norm. Makes you wonder?

@colleenyoung

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

Jump to this post

Greetings each and everyone! I just thought it would be a good idea to finally share with the astonishing results of my latest blood test checkup. After a 2 month and 1 week period of time, LDL or “bad” cholesterol dropped from 250.6 to 148.8. Total Cholesterol has plummeted by 98 points – from 334 to 236. Also, my HDL or “good” cholesterol went down from 42 to 39. However, I got a slight raise in my triglycerides levels which went up from 207 to 241. I can only attribute this improvement to a bunch of supplements I’ve been taking for the past 2 months, red yeast rice is among them. Although my lipid profile is still considered slightly high, I will continue what I’ve started and I won’t give up. Thank you for all your support and encouragement 🙂

@colleenyoung

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

Jump to this post

@elio– Great to hear about your success with your recent lipid numbers! Way to go! I know when I first went on a statin drug that my numbers changed a bunch in only a month that I wondered how that could have made that much difference in such a short amount of time. My understanding is that regular exercise will help your triglycerides improve so consider working in some daily walks or find a gym that is nearby. It takes a solid month or so to create a good habit, but once you do you will never regret it and you will feel so much better about yourself. Keep up the good work!

I know next to nothing about hypercholesterolemia, but it’s discussed in a couple books that I read after my multiple bypass experience. I won’t give you the whole story, but I was shocked about 10 mos ago to find that I had close to complete blockage in five arteries, after a lifetime of low blood pressure, low bad cholesterol, high good cholesterol, many years of continuous exercise, and on a “heart-healthy” diet, as recommended by the food and medical industry. Sooooo, I decided to learn more. And I found out that a lot of what we’ve been told about diet is most likely wrong. However, you need to decide that for yourself. I recommend the following first two books as a start, and you’ll find more referenced within them. And they’ll refer you to websites that may yield additional info. These books are loaded with statistics, information, recipes, supplement necessities, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll get next to none of this from the mainline medical industry. Having said all of that, your situation is indeed of concern. The info below may help you gain perspective. Combine the info below with any advice from your physician, assuming you have one who is willing to argue the salient points. Many of them find the advice below to be ill-advised. You can also join some online sources, like thedrswolfson (see first book below).

I rebelled against taking anything, but I finally gave in, with blood thinner and statin now a daily supplement. However, due to an osteopath I went to for other reasons, he also put me on vitamin supplements (after a very thorough blood test). As you say, statins have lots of undesirable side effects so if you take them, you should certainly take some supplements (like CoQ10).

Bottom line: stop all sugar (especially the high glycemic load foods, like pastas, pastries, breads, processed foods, etc; exercise (no matter how little) and reduce stress; reduce inflammation; avoid oxidation. These books help you do these things. I have changed my diet, even tho I thot it was “heart-healthy.” By the way, I’m about 72, have had the bypass surgery (quintuple), and am determined to make it to 95. It’s only been a few months so I don’t know yet if it’s making a difference. I’ll be monitoring of course. Good luck.

The Paleo Cardiologist—Jack Wolfson–written by a cardiologist, with lots of info on supplements, causes, etc.

The Great Cholesterol Myth—Bowden and Sinatra (excellent—must read—tons of recipes and yet again another analysis of how we got where we are with present guidelines and what’s wrong with them)

Nourishing Traditions—Sally Fallon—excellent book—tons of recipes, but first 50 pages are an excellent summary of what’s wrong with today’s recommended foods)

The Cholesterol Myths—Uffe Ravnskov (excellent book—a good meta-analysis of how earlier studies were improperly done. Can be downloaded for FREE on his website.

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